When you have a language like Romanian, sometimes you get two (or more) similar words with subtle shades of meaning that come from two different linguistic sources.
If you’re talking about journalism, the right word to use is always stiri. But when you’re talking to a friend or associate and want to say “Hey, I’ve got some news for you,” the right word is veste.
The root of stiri is pretty easy to parse because it is related to words like stiintific (scientific) and stiinta (knowledge), both from a root word for “to know.”
But where does veste come from?
Here’s how you say “news” in several modern Slavic languages:
- Bulgarian – Novini
- Macedonian – Vesti
- Russian – Novosti
- Serbian – Vesti
- Ukrainian – Novini
As you can see, it’s not hard to understand where Romanian got the word veste to mean news.
Note: Both stiri and veste are plural. The first is masculine while the second is feminine.
For bonus points, here are two additional words you should know. These two come from Latin, so they’re a bit easier to understand if your native language is English.
Noutati literally means “new things” and can be translated as “update” in English, but sometimes it means news. Generally speaking, “hard” news is always stiri while “soft” news or news about less important subjects is noutati.
The word actualitati, however, is more confusing because it sounds like it has something to do with “actual.” In Romanian, however, actual means “current,” (guvernul actual = the current government) so actualitati translates to “current affairs.”
True story: Every morning, I listen to Radio Romania Actualitati which I’d translate as “Romanian Current Affairs Radio.”
AND NOW YOU KNOW!